Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor TIF board approves planning contracts for Westport site

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The Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission observed a moment of silence in recognition of the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks before hearing an update on the Westport Site Development at its meeting Wednesday.

Holladay Properties, the master developer guiding the creation of the Westport Planned Unit Development (PUD) for a new Burns Harbor Town Center on the 32-acres across Ind. 149 from the Town Hall, recommended approval of three professional services contracts in accordance with its timeline for completing the Westport PUD.

Holladay Project Manager A.J. Monroe said it’s Holladay’s recommendation that the Board go with Smith Group for planning and landscape architectural services for $98,500, Tracy Cross & Associates for a market study for $19,500, and Abonmarche for civil engineering for $178,000. The three contracts total approximately $293,000.

The contracted work will be task-driven, with Monroe as the point of contact if the companies have questions, and final approval for tasks resting with either the whole RDC or, if a decision has to be made between meetings, just the Board president.

Monroe said the next two months will be quite busy, with the project team hosting a workshop for stakeholder input on the development plan. By Nov. 12, Smith Group will have completed its first two tasks, which include creating a preferred plan for the development, Abonmarche will have completed its first two tasks related to visioning, and the Tracy Cross market study will be complete.

The Board approved all three contracts unanimously.

In related business, the Board approved a contract for $6,600 for SEH of Indiana to conduct a phase 1 environmental assessment on the Westport site. Such a study has to be done before the Town can release the land for someone to use, RDC President Eric Hull said.

Duneland School Contribution

Duneland School Board representative Ron Stone gave the Board a handout showing how the Board’s contribution to Duneland Schools was spent this past school year. The Burns Harbor RDC contributes approximately $100,000 to Duneland Schools each year to make up for tax revenue the School district doesn’t capture in Burns Harbor’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts.

Duneland Schools has recently spent RDC contributions as follows: $18,000 on Project Lead the Way, $15,000 on the Leader in Me program at Bailly Elementary, $15,000 on the Leader in Me program at Liberty Intermediate, $7,800 on a program at the Challenger Learning Center, and $975 on robotics activities at the intermediate schools.

“Be there, or be square”

Board member Toni Biancardi made a reminder the last Food Truck Square event of the year is next Wednesday, Sept. 18. and will feature Touch-A-Truck activities and a corn hole tournament. Hull said: “Be there, or be square.”


Posted 9/13/2019




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